Check Out the PHR/SPHR Testing Facilities

By Sandra M. Reed

HRCI has contracted with Prometric to administer the exams. The company has hundreds of computer-based facilities around the United States (and internationally). After you have been approved to sit for the exam, you’ll be directed to the Prometric’s website to schedule your exam. At this time, you’ll be able to select the facility where you’ll test and take note of the address and phone number.

To ensure that you don’t run late, in the week before the test, take the route to the testing facility so you know how long it will take you. Then consider doubling the amount of time that you think you’ll need to get there. Construction, detours, and other traffic-related delays are real possibilities when you travel to your destination, so establish a timeline that completely eliminates the possibility that you’ll have to set a frantic pace on exam day. Arriving early and having to wait and listen to meditation recordings is better than frantically being late.

When taking the test, you’ll be in a room filled with workstations and computer monitors. Prometric administers many different exams, not just the PHR and SPHR. As a result, test takers have different start times, so on test day, you’ll have people coming in and going out. Your goal is to stay focused and not worry about other test takers who are working more quickly than you. They may have started before you or have a shorter test, so be aware of this fact so you can ignore the movement as best as you can.

When checking in, you’ll need to present proper identification. When you check in, Prometric also takes your photo and a biometric fingerprint scan.

Everyone receives a tutorial on how to use the program before the start of the exam and a survey at the end of the exam while the results are calculated. The three-hour time window doesn’t start until you begin your first question.

Prometric’s website has a great video that discusses what you can expect at the testing site. Click on the “Prepare for Test Day” link for more information on what to expect.

If you’re extra nervous, you can schedule a simulation check-in. If available at your site, for $30, you’re allowed to go through a simulation of the check-in procedures, tutorial, and a sample test (not a PHR or SPHR though) so you can be sure you know how to get to the facility, that your ID is acceptable, and that you’re prepared for the format of the exam.

The best way to ensure that you can take advantage of this feature is to contact the testing site before you schedule your exam day. Prometric can confirm that the site you wish to choose has the exam simulation feature available and answer any questions you may have such as what to expect and processing payment for the service.